KUNDA ( BELGAUM/ BELGAVI KUNDA )



Dharwad Pedha and Belagavi Kunda are well known to those who have traveled to these cities in Karnataka. Just as our Tirunelveli Halva is well known world over so also these two sweets almost similar in taste have a world fame. I have lived in Dharwad and tasted both very frequently so unable to forget the taste . So when ever I yearn for this delicious but simple sweet I make it.


Belgaum or Belagavi is a city in Karnataka state also known as the sugar bowl of Karnataka on account of its large sugarcane production. So naturally Kunda,  a yummy simple sweet is the signature dish of this city too. An interesting story about how this delectable sweet originated  or discovered .

Using only pure khoa and milk , this simple   sweet was the outcome of an accident , Jakku Marwadi the creator of this sweet once boiled milk in his kitchen and forgot about it till it was reduced to a thick muddy form.He tasted a bit and found it sweet and decided to add some more mava to it.He boiled it once more till everything got reduced to a nice grainy  brown caramel like sweet which he named Kunda.No visitor to Belgaum will come away without tasting this dish or buying for their family and friends.

Just as Dharwad in North Karnataka is well known for its delicious pedhas, Belgaum  is known for its kunda. Technically both have familiar taste as it uses same milk and khoa, but the way of preparation and the texture is totally different.
Kunda also reminds us of Theratipaal or paal khoa of Tamil nadu.


Ingredients:


2 cups fresh home made cottage cheese crumbled well.
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
pinch of cardamom powder
Slivers of nuts to garnish 
2 tbsp ghee/ melted butter


Method


Take a thick pan, add the sugar and do not add water, let it caramelize by melting, when completely melted, add 1 tbsp  butter or ghee and switch off.
Quickly take another pan and add the crumbled paneer, add 1 cup of milk, keep to boil on a low flame,  and add the caramel prepared  before it solidifies. In case it starts forming crystals, keep some boiling water ready and carefully add some very hot water to the thickening caramel sauce, then add the mixture to the cooking paneer  with milk.
Add a pinch of cardamom, check for sugar taste, if necessary, add more powdered sugar later to adjust sweetness.Add 1 more tbsp of ghee/ melted butter.
Keep cooking on a very low flame till completely reduced to a thick , grainy smooth mass almost dough like.
Remove from pan, let it cool, garnish with slivers of nuts.

Belgaum kunda is  ready to be devoured.



To make cottage cheese/paneer


Boil milk approximately 2 litres of thick milk  add 1 tbsp of lime juice or more till the milk curdles. .. Switch off the gas,  immediately add ice cubes to stop cooking , and drain out excess water. Collect the chenna/ crumbled cheese   in a fine sieve till completely drained and then  cook with 1  cup of milk  before proceeding with the recipe.




Sugar being caramelized.




Check the texture in between.





Colour darkens after adding caramelized sugar, and thickens.



Ready to be taken off the stove. Texture to be soft and grainy.